Jerusalem, 23 January, 2022 (TPS) — The vast majority of American Jews, 93%, are concerned with the current levels of anti-Semitism in the US, with nearly half of US Jews, 42%, experiencing anti-Semitism either directly or through family and friends in the past five years, according to a new panel survey commissioned and released Sunday by the Ruderman Family Foundation.
The two-part survey, conducted by the Mellman Group, examined 2,500 Jewish American adults in December 2019 and a further 1,000 Jewish adults from October to November 2021. Despite being conducted before the synagogue hostage crisis in Colleyville, Texas, the newly released survey amplifies the renewed fears over anti-Semitism nationwide in the aftermath of that attack.
75% of American Jews believe that there is more anti-Semitism today in the US than there was five years ago. Almost all American Jews, 94%, say they encountered at least some anti-Semitism in the US over the past five years. One in three younger Jews aged 18-39 years old say they have personally experienced anti-Semitism and 60% say they know a family or friend who has. Older Jews, over the age of 60, are more likely to have seen “a lot” of anti-Semitism (62%) than younger Jews (47%).
The survey also explored the notion of shared fate among American Jews. When asked how much they thought what happens to US Jews would have something to do with what happens in their own life, 82% acknowledged a shared fate. Even among those who do not value being Jewish, a majority, 65%, feel what happens to other US Jews also has some effect on them.
Additionally, the survey found that 9% of those who are uninvolved in the Jewish community view anti-Semitism as a reason for involvement, showcasing that the issue is strong enough to engage a demographic unconnected to Jewish life.
“Our survey reinforces the urgent need for American leadership to formulate new strategies to confront the surge of anti-Semitism and increasing hate crimes against the Jewish community,” said Jay Ruderman, President of the Ruderman Family Foundation. “Accordingly, we hope that these findings spur local and national leaders into action on this critical issue. Anti-Semitism is a threat to American society as a whole and only in tackling this issue as one unified nation will it ever be truly addressed.”
In addition to anti-Semitism, the survey explored multiple topics pertaining to American Jewry.
When it comes to US politics, American Jews perceive both parties as pro-Israel; 69% stating this was the case for the Democratic Party and 71% for the Republican Party. Yet when delving further into this support, the majority see Democrats as pro-Israel but critical of the Israeli government’s policies, while the majority see Republicans as pro-Israel and supportive of its policies.